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Congo Tetra (L)


The Congo tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus) is a species of fish in the African tetra family, found in the central Congo River Basin in Africa. It is commonly kept in aquaria.

The Congo tetra has a typical full-bodied tetra shape with rather large scales. When mature, the iridescent colors of the Congo tetra run through the fish from front to back, starting with blue on top changing to red through the middle, to yellow-gold, and back to blue just above the belly. It is not its fluorescent colors that make this tetra so distinct, but rather its tail fin, which develops into a most beautiful grayish-violet feathery appendage with white edges. The males get up to 3.0 inches (8.5 cm). Females up to 2.75 inches (6 cm). The male is larger with more color, also the tail fin and dorsal fin are more extended. They have also more beautiful colors, and extensions in the caudal fin.

In the aquarium, a natural habitat will allow for healthy fish. The Congo tetra requires soft, peat-filtered water and a darker substrate. They are most comfortable in an aquarium with lower light levels. The beautiful rainbow colors of this fish will also show best in lower light levels. These fish are easily frightened by aggressive tank mates and loud noises, and may abstain from feeding until people have left the area.[citation needed] It is a peaceful schooling fish and needs a large aquarium to thrive and develop its full beauty. Any aquarium of less than 30 gallons is not considered suitable for a proper school of the Congo tetra.

Recommended water parameters:

  • Hardness: 4–18 ° dGH
  • pH: 6.2
  • Temperature: (75–81 °F) 24–27 °C